I love the old hymn that says, “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey.” I’m convinced this is God’s objective for you today: to impact the world by being “happy in Jesus.”
But it’s crucial to understand that the Christian life is not meant to be lived by studying what Jesus did and trying to duplicate it in your own strength. Rather than just being a script to be read and acted out, the Christian life is Jesus living His life through you by the power of the Holy Spirit.
That’s why Paul makes the amazing statement, “When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory” (Colossians 3:4). Jesus doesn’t just give us life, He IS our life! In fact, Paul says, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me” (Galatians 2:20).
Jesus is the Lover of Our Soul, and He wants us to respond to that love by cultivating an intimate relationship with Him. We’re promised that He will draw near to us when we make a commitment to draw near to Him (James 4:8).
Although there’s no formula for having this kind of intimate personal relationship with Jesus, the Bible gives us patterns and examples to follow:
1. Regularly enter God’s presence. Just as with any earthly relationship, you must spend time together with the Lord. The more you draw close to Him and hear His heartbeat, the deeper your love for Him will become. The Bible explains how to do this: “Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name” (Psalm 100:4 NIV). Make this a daily habit!
2. Develop a heart of devotion. God-honoring, Christ-centered, Spirit-led worship always involves expressions of gratitude, awe, and devotion. Like the angels in heaven, true worshipers will have lives that declare, “You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power” (Revelation 4:11). Worship from our lips is merely the outward evidence of our inward devotion and passionate love for Christ.
3. Honor the Lord 24/7. For many people, worship is confined to singing praise songs or hymns during a church service. But it’s meant to be SO much more than that. The Bible tells us, “Whatever you do, do ALL to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). This means our love for Jesus should be expressed through our entire life: home, work, church, friends, and community.
4. Hang out with others who are passionate for Jesus. It’s important to fellowship with people who share our love for the Lord. Jesus promised us, “Where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20). And Hebrews 10:24 says, “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” Do you have fellow believers in your life to spur you on to greater affection for the Lover of Your Soul? That’s a vital ingredient for your spiritual growth and effectiveness.
My friend, I pray that you are enjoying a close personal relationship with Jesus today. Remember that He passionately loves you—shown by His death on the Cross. Take time today to cultivate a passionate love for Him as well.
Ben Cerullo has been named by Charisma Magazine as one of the “30 Emerging Voices” who will lead the church in the next decade. His ministry carries a powerful anointing and prophetic message. Traveling extensively, both domestically and internationally, he has spoken in more than 27 nations. God continues to use him to reach people with the Gospel, confirming His Word with signs following.
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